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News / Clark County News

Clark County Sheriff’s Office: Man fires shot, barricades self in barn near Fargher Lake

By Becca Robbins, Columbian staff reporter
Published: February 2, 2023, 5:52pm

A La Center man who allegedly assaulted his elderly father was arrested Thursday night following an hourslong armed standoff with deputies in north Clark County, according to the sheriff’s office.

David D. McCandless, 57, was booked into the Clark County Jail on suspicion of fourth-degree domestic violence assault and reckless endangerment.

Deputies responded shortly before 2 p.m. to a rural property in the 34600 block of Northeast 127th Avenue, near Fargher Lake, for reports of an assault.

Sheriff’s Sgt. Chris Skidmore said a woman called 911 to report her brother, later identified as McCandless, had assaulted their elderly father. He reportedly punched their father in the face and knocked him to the ground. The caller said McCandless had been drinking and may have suicidal thoughts, according to a sheriff’s office news release.

McCandless then went into a detached barn on the property, the sheriff’s office said.

Deputies had been to the house the day before for a disturbance, the news release states. At that time, McCandless was reportedly armed and experiencing suicidal thoughts. He spoke to deputies over the phone, and deputies offered to connect him with mental health resources or give him a ride to a hospital to be evaluated. He declined, and at the time, his family didn’t believe he posed a danger to anyone, the agency said.

The sheriff’s office said deputies didn’t want to provoke McCandless, so they left.

When deputies arrived Thursday, they called the family. Some of the family members came out of the house and were walking toward deputies when McCandless came out of the barn. He fired a shot from a handgun into the yard, according to the news release. The shot appeared to hit a tractor in the yard.

Deputies moved the family members to safety and retrieved the father from the house, the sheriff’s office said. The father declined medical attention, according to Skidmore.

Eventually, deputies used a drone to locate McCandless outside of the barn. He fired off another round, possibly at the drone, and went back into the barn, the news release states. There were no reported injuries from the gunfire.

The Southwest Washington Regional SWAT team responded and got a warrant to enter the barn and arrest McCandless. When the team tried to enter the barn, McCandless exited and ran from the property, the sheriff’s office said.

McCandless tried to hide in some brush in a wooded area near the property. The drone kept watch on McCandless while the SWAT team assembled a plan and approached him, according to the news release.

He hid in the wooded area for some time before he surrendered to the SWAT team Thursday evening, the agency said. McCandless was arrested without further incident.

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